Darwin-L Message Log 30: 1–30 — February 1996
Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences
Darwin-L was an international discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences, active from 1993–1997. Darwin-L was established to promote the reintegration of a range of fields all of which are concerned with reconstructing the past from evidence in the present, and to encourage communication among scholars, scientists, and researchers in these fields. The group had more than 600 members from 35 countries, and produced a consistently high level of discussion over its several years of operation. Darwin-L was not restricted to evolutionary biology nor to the work of Charles Darwin, but instead addressed the entire range of historical sciences from an explicitly comparative perspective, including evolutionary biology, historical linguistics, textual transmission and stemmatics, historical geology, systematics and phylogeny, archeology, paleontology, cosmology, historical geography, historical anthropology, and related “palaetiological” fields.
This log contains public messages posted to the Darwin-L discussion group during February 1996. It has been lightly edited for format: message numbers have been added for ease of reference, message headers have been trimmed, some irregular lines have been reformatted, and error messages and personal messages accidentally posted to the group as a whole have been deleted. No genuine editorial changes have been made to the content of any of the posts. This log is provided for personal reference and research purposes only, and none of the material contained herein should be published or quoted without the permission of the original poster.
The master copy of this log is maintained in the Darwin-L Archives (rjohara.net/darwin) by Dr. Robert J. O’Hara. The Darwin-L Archives also contain additional information about the Darwin-L discussion group, the complete Today in the Historical Sciences calendar for every month of the year, a collection of recommended readings on the historical sciences, and an account of William Whewell’s concept of “palaetiology.”
---------------------------------------------- DARWIN-L MESSAGE LOG 30: 1-30 -- FEBRUARY 1996 ---------------------------------------------- DARWIN-L A Network Discussion Group on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu is an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Darwin-L was established in September 1993 to promote the reintegration of a range of fields all of which are concerned with reconstructing the past from evidence in the present, and to encourage communication among academic professionals in these fields. Darwin-L is not restricted to evolutionary biology nor to the work of Charles Darwin but instead addresses the entire range of historical sciences from an interdisciplinary perspective, including evolutionary biology, historical linguistics, textual transmission and stemmatics, historical geology, systematics and phylogeny, archeology, paleontology, cosmology, historical anthropology, historical geography, and related "palaetiological" fields. This log contains the public messages posted to Darwin-L during February 1996. It has been lightly edited for format: message numbers have been added for ease of reference, message headers have been trimmed, some irregular lines have been reformatted, and some administrative messages and personal messages posted to the group as a whole have been deleted. No genuine editorial changes have been made to the content of any of the posts. This log is provided for personal reference and research purposes only, and none of the material contained herein should be published or quoted without the permission of the original poster. The master copy of this log is maintained in the archives of Darwin-L by firstname.lastname@example.org, and is also available on the Darwin-L Web Server at http://rjohara.uncg.edu. For instructions on how to retrieve copies of this and other log files, and for additional information about Darwin-L, send the e-mail message INFO DARWIN-L to email@example.com, or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server. Darwin-L is administered by Robert J. O'Hara (firstname.lastname@example.org), Center for Critical Inquiry in the Liberal Arts and Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A., and it is supported by the Center for Critical Inquiry, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the Department of History and the Academic Computing Center, University of Kansas. _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:1>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Feb 1 00:16:21 1996 Date: Thu, 01 Feb 1996 01:16:05 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: List owner's monthly greeting To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro Greetings to all Darwin-L subscribers. On the first of every month I send out a short note on the status of our group, along with a reminder of basic commands. For additional information about the group please visit the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu). Darwin-L is an international discussion group for professionals in the historical sciences. The group is not devoted exclusively to the work of Charles Darwin nor to evolutionary biology, but rather seeks to promote interdisciplinary comparisons across the entire range of "palaetiology". Darwin-L currently has more than 700 members from over 30 countries. Because Darwin-L does have a large membership and is sometimes a high-volume discussion group it is important for all participants to try to keep their postings as substantive as possible so that we can maintain a favorable "signal-to-noise" ratio and keep "chat" to a minimum. Personal messages should be sent by private e-mail rather than to the group as a whole. Subscribers who feel burdened from time to time by the volume of their mail may wish to take advantage of the digest option described below. Because many of us do get more email each day than we can reliably read, I have recently decided to try operating Darwin-L as a "moderated" list in order to filter out the occasional error message or private query that gets posted to the list as a whole by mistake. Most subscribers will not even be aware of this change to moderated format, except in so far as it keeps their mailboxes a bit tidier. The change is not meant to limit discussion, and I don't anticipate rejecting any serious posts at all. If an obviously private message comes through I might snatch it, however, and send it back to the author with the request that it be sent privately. Because different mail systems work differently, not all subscribers see the e-mail address of the original sender of each message in the message header (some people only see "Darwin-L" as the source). It is therefore very important to include your name and e-mail address at the end of every message you post so that everyone can identify you and reply privately if appropriate. Remember also that in most cases when you type "reply" in response to a message from Darwin-L your reply is sent to the group as a whole, rather than to the original sender. The following are the most frequently used listserv commands that Darwin-L members may wish to know. All of these commands should be sent as regular e-mail messages to the listserv address (firstname.lastname@example.org), not to the address of the group as a whole (Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu). In each case leave the subject line of the message blank and include no extraneous text, as the command will be read and processed by the listserv program rather than by a person. To join the group send the message: SUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L Your Name For example: SUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L John Smith To cancel your subscription send the message: UNSUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L If you feel burdened by the volume of mail you receive from Darwin-L you may instruct the listserv program to deliver mail to you in digest format (one message per day consisting of the whole day's posts bundled together). To receive your mail in digest format send the message: SET DARWIN-L MAIL DIGEST To change your subscription from digest format back to one-at-a-time delivery send the message: SET DARWIN-L MAIL ACK To temporarily suspend mail delivery (when you go on vacation, for example) send the message: SET DARWIN-L MAIL POSTPONE To resume regular delivery send either the DIGEST or ACK messages above. For a comprehensive introduction to Darwin-L with notes on our scope and on network etiquette, and a summary of all available commands, send the message: INFO DARWIN-L To post a public message to the group as a whole simply send it as regular e-mail to the group's address (Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu). I thank you all for your continuing interest in Darwin-L and in the interdisciplinary study of the historical sciences. Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner Robert J. O'Hara (email@example.com) Cornelia Strong College, 100 Foust Building University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A. _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:2>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Feb 1 23:23:41 1996 Date: Fri, 02 Feb 1996 00:23:34 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Philology and geology To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro Regarding connections between philology and natural history, one of the best volumes to appear in a long time on this topic is: Naumann, B., et al. eds. 1992. Language and Earth: Elective Affinities Between the Emerging Sciences of Linguistics and Geology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. An interesting character who developed the idea extensively in the early nineteenth century was the philologist William Winning. Here's an extract from the Palaetiology page (http://rjohara.uncg.edu/ palaetiology) on the Darwin-L Web Server, taken from: Winning, W.B. 1838. A Manual of Comparative Philology, in which the Affinity of the Indo-European Languages is Illustrated, and Applied to the Primeval History of Europe, Italy, and Rome. London: J.G. & F. Rivington. (Pp. 12-15.) It includes a long internal quotation from William Whewell's _History of the Inductive Sciences_. I have called this work "A Manual of Comparative Philology, in which (1) the affinity of the Indo-European languages is illustrated; and (2) applied to the early history of Europe, Italy, and Rome." To denote the object pointed out in the first division of my title-page, the term Comparative Philology, which is now getting into common use, is a suitable and happy expression: it is not so, however, with respect to the second division. In entering upon the early history of Italy, it becomes quite necessary, besides the affinity of languages, to take into consideration monuments of art, customs, government, religion, and the general style of civilization. The name, therefore, of Comparative Philology, is not sufficiently comprehensive for the science treated of in this work; the subject, in its whole extent, belongs rather to the class of sciences which have lately been called Palaetiological; and of which Geology is, at present, the best representative. "By the class of sciences here referred to," says Mr. Whewell, who introduced the term Palaetiological, "I mean to point out those researches in which the object is, to ascend from the present state of things to a more ancient condition, from which the present is derived by intelligible causes. The sciences which treat of causes have sometimes been termed aetiological, from [Gr. aitia], a cause: but this term would not sufficiently describe the speculations of which we now speak; since it might include sciences which treat of permanent causality, like mechanics, as well as inquiries concerning progressive causation. The investigations which we now wish to group together, deal, not only with the possible, but with the actual past; and a portion of Geology has properly been termed palaeontology ([Gr. palai, onta]), since it treats of beings which formerly existed. Hence, combining these two notions ([Gr. palai, aitia]), the term palaetiology appears to be not inappropriate, to describe those speculations which thus refer to actual past events, but attempt to explain them by laws of causation. Such speculations are not confined to the world of inert matter: we have examples of them in inquiries concerning the monuments of the art and labour of distant ages; in examinations into the origin and early progress of states and cities, customs and languages; as well as in researches concerning the causes and formations of mountains and rocks, the imbedding of fossils in strata, and their elevation from the bottom of the ocean. All these speculations are connected by this bond, that they endeavour to ascend to a past state of things, by the aid of the evidence of the present.--Again, we may notice another common circumstance in the studies which we are grouping together as palaetiological, diverse as they are in their subjects. In all of them we have the same kind of manifestations of a number of successive changes, each springing out of a preceeding state; and in all, the phenomena at each step become more and more complicated, by involving the results of all that has preceeded, modified by supervening agencies. The general aspect of all these trains of change is similar, and offers the same features for description. The relics and ruins of the earlier states are preserved, mutilated and dead, in the products of later times. The analogical figures by which we are tempted to express this relation, are philosophically just. It is more than a mere fanciful description, to say, that in languages, customs, forms of society, political institutions, we see a number of formations superimposed upon one another, each of which is, for the most part, an assemblage of fragments and results of the preceeding condition. Though our comparison might be bold, it would be just if we were to say, that the English language is a conglomerate of Latin words, bound together in Saxon cement; the fragments of the Latin being partly portions introduced directly from the parent quarry, with all their sharp edges; and partly pebbles of the same material, obscured and shaped by long rolling in a Norman or other channel. Thus the study of palaetiology in the materials of the earth, is only a type of similar studies with respect to all the elements, which, in the history of the earth's inhabitants, have been constantly undergoing a series of connected changes [footnote 8: Whewell's History of the Inductive Sciences, vol. iii. p. 481]." Perhaps Philology, and the connected archaeological subjects, are not yet sufficiently advanced to constitute collectively, under an appropriate name, a complete and uniform member of the Palaetiological class of sciences; and I have therefore retained the more common and intelligible phrase, Comparative Philology, though in a more extended sense than exactly belongs to it. From want of some general title, Fr. Schlegel has named his treatise, which is one of the earliest works in this department of Palaetiology, 'An Essay on the Language and Philosophy of the Hindoos;' which he has divided into three books, on Language, Religion, and Polity. My object in the present Work is to perform for Italy and the West, the same kind of task which he has executed for India and the East; and to induce others to enter upon the same path. May Palaetiology, on the higher theme of Man, obtain as numerous and scientific inquirers as she already possesses on the subject of the earth! Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner Robert J. O'Hara (email@example.com) Cornelia Strong College, 100 Foust Building The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A. _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:3>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Feb 2 00:31:53 1996 Date: Fri, 02 Feb 1996 01:31:05 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: February 2 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro FEBRUARY 2 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1786: SIR WILLIAM JONES, English jurist and student of Oriental languages, delivers his Third Anniversary Discourse as president of the Asiatick Society of Bengal. It will come to be regarded by future generations of scholars as one of the founding documents of historical linguistics: "The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either; yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs, and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong, indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists. There is a similar reason for supposing that both the Gothick and the Celtick, though blended with a very different idiom, had the same origin with the Sanscrit; and the old Persian might be added to the same family, if this were the place for discussing any question concerning the antiquities of Persia." Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to email@example.com or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:4>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Feb 5 00:32:50 1996 Date: Mon, 05 Feb 1996 01:32:42 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: February 5 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro FEBRUARY 5 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1783: A great earthquake strikes Calabria in southern Italy. The first major upheaval of its kind to be directly investigated by European geologists, this earthquake will serve as one of Charles Lyell's principal illustrations of the sufficiency of "causes now in operation" to explain geological change in the first volume of his _Principles of Geology_ (1830): "If the city of Oppido, in Calabria, be taken as a centre, and round that centre a circle be described with a radius of twenty-two miles, this space will comprehend the surface of the country which suffered the greatest alteration, and where all the towns and villages were destroyed. But if we describe the circle with a radius of seventy-two miles, this will then comprehend the whole country that had any permanent marks of having been affected by the earthquake. The first shock, of February 5th, 1783, threw down, in two minutes, the greater part of the houses in all the cities, towns, and villages, from the western flanks of the Apennines in Calabria Ultra, to Messina in Sicily, and convulsed the whole surface of the country. Another occurred on the 28th of March, with almost equal violence. The granitic chain which passes through Calabria from north to south, and attains the height of many thousand feet, was shaken but slightly; but it is said that a great part of the shocks which were propagated with a wave-like motion through the recent strata from west to east, became very violent when they reached the point of junction with the granite, as if a reaction was produced where the undulatory movement of the soft strata was suddenly arrested by the more solid rocks. The surface of the country often heaved like the billows of a swelling sea, which produced a swimming in the head like sea-sickness." 1799: JOHN LINDLEY is born at Catton, near Norwich, England. The son of a nurseryman, Lindley will go on to become one of the most active botanical researchers, editors, artists, and administrators of the nineteenth century. He will specialize in the systematics of orchids, and in 1830 will publish an _Introduction to the Natural System of Botany_. The characters of plants, he will write, are "the living Hieroglyphics of the Almighty which the skill of man is permitted to interpret. The key to their meaning lies enveloped in the folds of the Natural System." Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to email@example.com or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:5>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon Feb 5 05:49:41 1996 Date: Mon, 5 Feb 1996 12:48:35 +0100 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Patrick Tort) Subject: Darwin in evolution AFP news item dated January 18th 1996 - REF : FRAQ12S4GA 0382FRA/AFP-LH15 " PARIS, January 18th (AFP) - A great "Dictionary of Darwinism and of Evolution"... ... This titanesque result, with no antecedent in the matter, has taken ten years work to 150 international specialists in the biological sciences and human studies, under the direction of Patrick Tort. While striving to restore in its entirety the logics of evolution, its original concepts and modern versions, this encyclopaedic dictionary initiates a historical investigation of all national Darwinisms." This historical and critical synthesis of Darwinism and evolutionary theory has been conducted in order to combat the endless distortions of Darwin's ideas. Henceforth, the demonstration has been made that: - Darwin is not the father of modern anti-equalitarian theories, - Darwin is the founder neither of negative eugenics nor of dogmas of elimination, - Darwin is not the justifier of Victorian Imperialism, - Darwin is not responsible for "Social Darwinism" More information can be obtained on the Web, in six languages, at: http://www.planete.net/~ptort/darwin/index.html (French) http://www.planete.net/~ptort/darwin/evolengl.html (English) : Patrick TORT Professeur d'universite : : 23, rue de la Republique 93230 - ROMAINVILLE : : FRANCE : : email@example.com Tel. +33 1 48437608 : : La selection naturelle selectionne la civilisation, : : qui s'oppose a la selection naturelle : _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:6>From ggale@CCTR.UMKC.EDU Wed Feb 7 04:15:50 1996 Date: Tue, 06 Feb 1996 19:05:58 CST From: ggale@CCTR.UMKC.EDU To: CADUCEUS@BEACH.UTMB.EDU, firstname.lastname@example.org, HOPOSemail@example.com, @vm42.cso.uiuc.edu:HPSST-L@QUCDN.bitnet, STS@CCTR.UMKC.EDU, HASTRO-L@WVNVM.WVNET.EDU, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, @vm42.cso.uiuc.edu:MEDSCI-L@BROWNVM.bitnet Subject: SCIENCE STUDIES MATERIAL ON-LINE @ Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City INTERNET WORLDWIDE GUIDE TO SCIENCE STUDIES PROGRAMMES The University of Missouri-Kansas City sponsors an Internet archive covering worldwide Science Studies programme prospectuses, curricular announcements and related material. Where possible, direct links are provided to programme-sponsored Web pages. Bundled with the programme material is a database containing much information of interest to Science Studies participants. Archived material covers a wide range of disciplines, including history, philosophy, and sociology of both science and technology, science education, and other related areas. Topics include job offerings, meeting announcements, calls, e-lists, archived resources, and pedagogical information. The Worldwide Guide may be accessed via URL: http://www.umkc.edu/ac/sci-stud ***PLEASE NOTE: The URL for the Worldwide Guide may change within the next few months. In the event that advance notice cannot be given for this change, the correct URL will always be available via the homepage of UMKC's Department of Philosophy, at: http://www.umkc.edu/cctr/dept/philosophy/homepage.html --George Gale, Proprietor --Elam O'Renick, Associate Proprietor _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:7>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Feb 8 00:15:26 1996 Date: Thu, 08 Feb 1996 01:15:15 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: February 8 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro FEBRUARY 8 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1727: JEAN ANDRE DELUC born at Geneva, Switzerland. Deluc will begin his career as a businessman and will travel widely throughout Europe, but a commercial failure in 1773 will induce him to emigrate to England and devote himself to science, his long-time avocation. He will soon become one of the leading scriptural geologists of his day, declaring that in geological strata "it is as easy to read the history of the Sea, as it is to read the history of Man in the archives of any nation," and he will attempt to demonstrate through his many publications "the conformity of geological monuments with the sublime account of that series of the operations which took place during the Six days, or periods of time, recorded by the inspired penman." Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to email@example.com or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:8>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Feb 8 12:57:20 1996 Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 13:57:47 -0500 To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (Darwin List) From: email@example.com (Jeremy C. Ahouse) Subject: 2 links I have come across a pair of links that some of you may find interesting. This one has course notes and syllabi in physical anthroplogy and human evolution: http://grizzly.umt.edu/anthro/ - take the link at Class Notes and Syllabi This one is a very full cladistics bibliography: http://www.utexas.edu/ftp/depts/systbiol/info/cladliterature.html cheers, - Jeremy _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:9>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Feb 8 14:53:36 1996 From: "Dr. William C. Kimler, History" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 15:52:53 EST Subject: Darwin biography My graduate class is examining a wide range of biographies of Darwin as a historiographic exercise. We've been making a stab at a "complete" bibliography, and would appreciate a bit of help. Most difficult is tracing the early biographies in the 19th century, especially in languages other than English. If you have something on file already, or know a really detailed published bibliography of biographies, let me know. Dr. William Kimler Department of History - Box 8108 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC 27695-8108 (919) 515-2483 email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:10>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sun Feb 11 21:02:28 1996 Date: Sun, 11 Feb 1996 22:03:00 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: UK Systematics Forum on the Web (fwd from TAXACOM) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro --begin forwarded message-------------- Date: Fri, 9 Feb 1996 14:23:28 GMT From: Emma Watson <E.Watson@NHM.AC.UK> Subject: UK Systematics Forum Home Pages The UK Systematics Forum The UK Systematics Forum is pleased to announce the arrival of its Home Pages on the Internet. These pages provide information on the Forum's aims and objectives, activities and members of the committee as well as links to other relevant organisations and initiatives on the Web. In the near future the Pages will provide the base for the directory of UK Systematics Expertise and Current Research. The Forum's URL is: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/uksf Pages will be added and updated at regular intervals but meanwhile please direct any comments/suggestions to: email@example.com. Emma Watson UK Systematics Forum, c/o The Natural History Museum Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD Tel: 0171 938 9522 Fax: 0171 938 9531 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Internet) Museum Home Page URL: HTTP://www.nhm.ac.uk/index.html --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:11>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Feb 12 00:45:30 1996 Date: Mon, 12 Feb 1996 01:45:24 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: February 12 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro FEBRUARY 12 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1804: IMMANUEL KANT dies at Konigsberg, Germany. Before he turned to philosophy, for which he will be best remembered, Kant had been a student of cosmology, and he had published in 1755 _Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels, oder Versuch von der Verfassung und dem mechanischen Ursprunge des ganzen Weltgebaudes nach Newtonischen Grundsatzen abgehandelt_ (_Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens: An Essay on the Constitution and Mechanical Origin of the Whole Universe Treated According to Newtonian Principles_). In this work, which was little known even in its own day, Kant stretched the traditional cosmic chronology of the early modern period into a temporal expanse of enormous proportion: "There has mayhap flown past a series of millions of years and centuries, before the sphere of the formed nature in which we find ourselves, attained to the perfection which is now embodied in it; and perhaps as long a period will pass before Nature will take another step as far in chaos. But the sphere of developed nature is incessantly engaged in extending itself. Creation is not the work of a moment. When it has once made a beginning with the production of an infinity of substances and matter, it continues in operation through the whole succession of eternity with ever increasing degrees of fruitfulness. Millions and whole myriads of millions of centuries will flow on, during which always new worlds and systems of worlds will be formed after each other in the distant regions away from the center of nature, and will attain to perfection." 1809: CHARLES DARWIN is born in Shrewsbury. Educated in medicine and divinity at the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge, Darwin will become one of the greatest theorists in the history of the historical sciences. In the _Origin of Species_ (London, 1859) he will describe the consequences that will result when his evolutionary view of nature becomes widely adopted: "The terms used by naturalists of affinity, relationship, community of type, paternity, morphology, adaptive characters, rudimentary and aborted organs, &c., will cease to be metaphorical, and will have plain signification. When we no longer look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as at something wholly beyond his comprehension; when we regard every production of nature as one which has had a history; when we contemplate every complex structure and instinct as the summing up of many contrivances, each useful to the possessor, nearly in the same way as when we look at any great mechanical invention as the summing up of the labour, the experience, the reason, and even the blunders of numerous workmen; when we thus view each organic being, how far more interesting, I speak from experience, will the study of natural history become!" Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to firstname.lastname@example.org or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:12>From email@example.com Tue Feb 13 11:29:47 1996 From: Mary P Winsor <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Happy Darwin's Birthday To: email@example.com (bulletin board) Date: Mon, 12 Feb 1996 17:21:27 -0500 (EST) Here in Toronto the biology departments in the Royal Ontario Museum have a tradition, around 20 yrs old now, of cake and song and informal lecture to celebrate Darwin's birth on Feb 12, 1809. I was honoured to give the little talk this year, and so near Valentine's Day I chose to celebrate his prescience in thinking up and defending sexual selection long before almost anyone else was able to see it as plausible. (A nice article by Mary Bartley in the J. History of Biology spring 1995 pp. 91-108 (volume 28, no.1) shows that Julian Huxley only allowed the principle very limited application.) I casually speculated that besides all the other smarts Darwin had going for him (to explain why he was head and shoulders ahead of his contemporaries), he approached animals, including his fellow humans, male and female, with an attitude of humility and respect. Most observors shared A.R.Wallace's inability to imagine that female birds and mammals could exercise choice, but Darwin had no trouble thinking so. His reaction when Emma Wedgewood accepted his proposal of marriage was to be heartily grateful that she was willing to have him. He was devoted to her all their lives (unlike Julian Huxley, who announced one day to his wife that henceforth he would consider them both free to engage in whatever sexual opportunity came their way). I do not intend to publish this speculation about historical cause and effect! Polly Winsor firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:13>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Feb 13 14:50:25 1996 Date: Tue, 13 Feb 1996 15:49:49 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Summer Systematics Institute at CAS (fwd from TAXACOM) To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro --begin forwarded message-------------- Date: Sun, 11 Feb 1996 10:57:33 -0800 From: Anne Marie Malley <amalley@CAS.CALACADEMY.ORG> Subject: Summer Systematics Institute - California Academy of Sciences CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES SUMMER SYSTEMATICS INSTITUTE 1996 The California Academy of Sciences announces an internship program in Systematic Biology for summer 1996. The Summer Systematics Institute matches 9 undergraduate students with Academy scientists to conduct research, as well as participate in tours, seminars and lectures related to biodiversity, evolutionary biology and global change. A $3000 stipend will be awarded to each intern. In addition, financial help may be available to defray travel costs to San Francisco and housing costs. General Information The 1996 Summer Systematics Institute will last 10 weeks: 10 June 1996 - 16 August 1996 All application materials must be received by 15 March, 1996. No late applications can be considered. Notification of status will be mailed to all applicants by 1 April, 1996. Application materials can be obtained from: Summer Systematics Institute Research Division California Academy of Sciences Golden Gate Park San Francisco, CA 94118 Telephone: 415-750-7277 Fax: 415-750-7346 email: firstname.lastname@example.org --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:14>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Feb 13 23:01:31 1996 Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 00:01:15 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Library of Congress subject headings To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro The following query was recently posted to HUMANIST, and I append my reply here for the possible interest of Darwin-l members. We have talked about the Library of Congress subject heading in the historical sciences here once or twice before. Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner --being forwarded message-------------- >From: Willard McCarty <firstname.lastname@example.org> >Subject: usefulness of LC categories? > >A question that arose out of a discussion with a colleague here: how useful >are the U.S. Library of Congress subject categories to working scholars? Who >actually uses these in research, and how useful are they? Mention of actual >cases would be most helpful. > >Thanks. > >WM This is an interesting question, Willard. I have not used them in research per se, but have used them in teaching, and sometimes give students a list of the subject headings that pertain to a particular course they are taking so they will be better able to find relevant material (and to encourage browsing). One of my areas of interest, however, is the comparative study of the historical sciences -- the fields that William Whewell called "palaetiology" (historical geology, historical linguistics, evolutionary biology, textual transmission, etc.). As an exercise I once put together a fairly comprehensive listing of the various LC headings that pertain to the historical sciences as a way of showing the practical obstacles (one might say) that stand in the way of studying these fields as a unified group. In other words, if you are interested in "historical reconstruction" as a general notion you will find material scattered through the entire LC classification, from natural history (QH) to historical chronology (D11) to textual criticism (P47) to historical geography (G141). This is not particularly surprising, but what it illustrates nicely is how the LC classification reflects certain assumptions about what fields go together and how they go together. One can imagine that these assumptions might conceivably stand in the way of someone trying to make a non-obvious interdisciplinary connection. The list of LC subject headings relating to the historical sciences is available for browsing on the Files page of the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu). Robert J. O'Hara (email@example.com) Cornelia Strong College, 100 Foust Building University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A. --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:15>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Feb 15 21:57:22 1996 Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 22:57:14 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Books from Italy on the historical sciences (fwd) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro --begin forwarded message-------------- From: F.Saldicco@agora.stm.it Subject: A NEW WWW PAGE. Date: Wed, 14 Feb 96 11:22:46 GMT Franco A. Volta announces the setting up of a new WWW page by the C.I.R.T. - International Center for Retrieval of New, Ancient and Rare Books. This page gives an up-to date list of new italian books on: 1. Archaeology, Antiquities and Classical Philology. 2. Architecture. 3. Art. 4. Cinema. 5. Herakles Project 6. History. 7. Incunabula (microfilms) 8. Manuscripts (microfilms) 9. Music. 10. XVI-XVII-XVIII Centuries (microfilms) The web pages are still in construction. More links to come: -Geography, Geology. -Economics, Sociology. -Library Science. -Literature, Linguistics. -Mathematics, Computer Science. -Philosophy. -Technology, Engineering, Physics, Astronomy. The address is: http://italia.hum.utah.edu/gruppo/volta/cirt.html ***************************** All contacts and requests of information must be addressed to: Franco A. Volta C.I.R.T. : International Center for Retrieval of New, Ancient and Rare Books. P.O. Box 7254 - 00100 Roma/Italy. P.O. Box 2591 - New York, NY 10185 Fax: 0039 6 4826073 E-mail: email@example.com ***************************** --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:16>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sat Feb 17 21:09:40 1996 Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996 22:09:33 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: History of Science Society Web Server To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro The History of Science Society has recently established a web server that may be of interest to some Darwin-L members. The address is: http://weber.u.washington.edu/~hssexec/index.html Bob O'Hara (email@example.com) _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:17>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Feb 19 13:50:24 1996 Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 14:50:08 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: February 19 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro FEBRUARY 19 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1792: RODERICK IMPEY MURCHISON is born at Tarradale, Scotland. Following a period of military service as a young man, Murchison will lead a life of leisure until 1824 when he will become interested in geology. His inherited wealth will allow him to devote himself entirely to science during subsequent years, and he will pioneer the use of fossils in the correlation of strata. Travelling extensively through much of Europe, and serving several times as president of the Geological Society of London, Murchison will concentrate his investigations on some of the oldest strata then known, in the hope of geologically locating the origin of life. His great monograph _The Silurian System_ (London, 1839) will set a standard for geological research, but it will eventually lead him into a bitter dispute with Adam Sedgwick over the location of the boundary between the Silurian and Sedgwick's older Cambrian System. Increasingly inflexible in his views, Murchison will aggressively reject both Agassiz's glacial theory and Darwin's theory of descent, and late in life will become a patron of geography, participating in the founding of the Royal Geographical Society and contributing financially to Livingstone's African expeditions. He will be made a baronet in 1866, and will die in London in 1871. Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to email@example.com or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:18>From 5SH6FREEBURG@vms.csd.mu.edu Mon Feb 19 18:31:07 1996 Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 18:30:50 -0600 (CST) From: 5SH6FREEBURG@vms.csd.mu.edu Subject: hello To: firstname.lastname@example.org Hello, I'm a new subscriber to Darwin-l. My name is Nathan Freeburg with my field being intellectual and religious history. I also have interests in cosmology and the history of philosophy and psychology. Sincerely, email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:19>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Feb 20 05:17:42 1996 Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 01:26:20 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: February 20 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro FEBRUARY 20 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1835: "This day has been remarkable in the annals of Valdivia for the most severe earthquake which the oldest inhabitants remember. -- Some who were at Valparaiso during the dreadful one of 1822, say this was as powerful. -- I can hardly credit this, & must think that in Earthquakes as in gales of wind, the last is always the worst. I was on shore & lying down in the wood to rest myself. It came on suddenly & lasted two minutes (but appeared much longer). The rocking was most sensible; the undulation appeared both to me & my servant to travel from due East. There was no difficulty in standing upright; but the motion made me giddy. -- I can compare it to skating on very thin ice or to the motion of a ship in a little cross ripple. "An earthquake like this at once destroys the oldest associations; the world, the very emblem of all that is solid, moves beneath our feet like a crust over a fluid; one second of time conveys to the mind a strange idea of insecurity, which hours of reflection would never create. In the forest, a breeze moved the trees, I felt the earth tremble, but saw no consequence from it. -- At the town where nearly all the officers were, the scene was more awful; all the houses being built of wood, none actually fell & but few were injured. Every one expected to see the Church a heap of ruins. The houses were shaken violently & creaked much, the nails being partially drawn. -- I feel sure it is these accompaniments & the horror pictured in the faces of all the inhabitants, which communicates the dread that every one feels who has _thus seen_ as well as felt an earthquake. In the forest it was a highly interesting but by no means awe-exciting phenomenon. -- The effect on the tides was very curious; the great shock took place at the time of low-water; an old woman who was on the beach told me that the water flowed quickly but not in big waves to the high-water mark, & as quickly returned to its proper level; this was also evident by the wet sand. She said it flowed like an ordinary tide, only a good deal quicker. This very kind of irregularity in the tide happened two or three years since during an Earthquake at Chiloe & caused a great deal of groundless alarm. -- In the course of the evening there were other weaker shocks; all of which seemed to produce the most complicated currents, & some of great strength in the Bay. The generally active Volcano of Villa-Rica, which is the only part of the Cordilleras in sight, appeared quite tranquil. -- I am afraid we shall hear of damage done at Concepcion. I forgot to mention that on board the motion was very perceptible; some below cried out that the ship must have tailed on the shore & was touching the bottom." (Charles Darwin's Beagle Diary, 20 February 1835.) Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to email@example.com or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:20>From ggale@CCTR.UMKC.EDU Tue Feb 20 11:49:09 1996 Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 11:47:08 CST From: ggale@CCTR.UMKC.EDU To: CADUCEUS@BEACH.UTMB.EDU, firstname.lastname@example.org, @vm42.cso.uiuc.edu:HPSST-L@QUCDN.bitnet, STS@CCTR.UMKC.EDU, HASTRO-L@WVNVM.WVNET.EDU, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, @vm42.cso.uiuc.edu:MEDSCI-L@BROWNVM.bitnet Subject: Hist.of Phil. of Science (HOPOS) Conf. Registration & Program *************** FIRST HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE CONFERENCE Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, Virginia April 19-21 1996 The History of Philosophy of Science Working Group will hold its first conference in cooperation with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University on April 19-21 1996. Registration information and a near-final draft of the program are below. **************** REGISTRATION: FIRST HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE CONFERENCE Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, Virginia April 19-21 1996 Conference Fee (mandatory for participants and conference visitors): ( ) $65 HOPOS members (including new members) and ( ) $15 HOPOS membership fee for 1996, if not already collected OR: ( ) $75 non-members Includes AM and PM coffee breaks and Conference Reception at Hotel Roanoke (Friday 8:00 PM). ( ) Optional $20 banquet fee (Conference barbeque banquet and transportation to banquet Saturday evening, hosted by Joseph C. and Donna Pitt at Gavagai Hollow (4:00 PM forward)) Total enclosed: Please pay by check or U.S. dollar money order to HOPOS. Name: Address: Telephone: Email: Name and institutional affiliation as they should appear on your nametag: Send registration materials to: Cassandra Pinnick Department of Philosophy Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY 42101 (email@example.com !Please note the '2'!) Lodging information: Lodging is not included in the registration fee. A block of 30 rooms will be made available for registration until April 5 at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute conference center, the Hotel Roanoke, a historic structure in downtown Roanoke. Room rates for the conference are $55 single occupancy and $75 double, tax included; $20 for each additional person. Please mention the conference and these rates when booking. Tel. (540) 985-5900; FAX (540) 345-2890. Rooms may be obtained through the Doubletree Hotels reservation number, 1-800-222-8733. Rooms are also available 3 blocks from the conference site at the Radisson Patrick Henry Hotel, 617 Jefferson St., Roanoke, VA 24011 (540) 345-8811 Conference Rate: $69 Flat rate (single or double) PLUS Tax; mention the HOPOS conference. Registration Deadline: April 1, 1996. Directions from Airport to Hotel Roanoke: A courtesy bus runs to the hotel from the airport on the hour and half hour, 24 hours/day. Should one not appear, a telephone call to the hotel should produce one. Transit time is 10 minutes. From the airport by car: Take Interstate 581 South to Exit 5 downtown. Proceed from the ramp along Williamson Rd., and at first light, turn right onto Wells. The Hotel Roanoke is immediately on your left. A discount conference rate from April 18-21 of $40 plus tax for a room with two double beds is also available at the TravelLodge hotel at 2444 South Lee Highway. The TravelLodge is approximately 15 minutes travel by car from the conference site. Reservations: (992) 540-6700. Airline information: USAir and Northwest fly into Roanoke airport, as do commuter flights on Delta and United. *********************************** HOPOS program draft, 8 February 1996 Friday, April 19 8:30-10:00 Session 1 ROOM A Christian Perring, University of Kentucky The Disunity Of Science: Adolf Meyer's Psychiatry Gary Hatfield, University of Pennsylvania Psychology As A Natural Science ROOM B Zeno Swijtink, Max-Planck Institute The Romantic Conception Of Knowledge In Alexander Von Humboldt Eric Watkins, Virginia Tech Kant's Justification Of The Laws Of Mechanics Morning break, refreshments provided 10:30-12:30 Session 2 ROOM A Submitted Panel: Scientific Philosophy, Neo-Kantianism And The Rise Of Philosophy Of Science Alan Richardson, Chair R. Lanier Anderson, Haverford College Rickert And Dilthey On The Human Sciences Alan Richardson, University of British Columbia Wissenschaftliche Philosophie: A Neglected Theme In German Philosophy 1870-1936 David Sullivan, Metropolitan State College of Denver Frege, Husserl And The Neo-Kantian Paradigm: Questions Of Psychologism ROOM B Val Dusek, University of New Hampshire The Feyerabend/Lakatos Debate On Method As Recapitulation Of The Brecht/Lukacs Debate In Marxist Aesthetics Michalis Assimakopoulos, National Technical University of Greece Philosophy Of Science In The Soviet Union Since The 50's Gurol Irzik, University of Pittsburgh The Scope And Limits Of The Post-Positivist Turn 12:30-1:30 Lunch 1:30-4:00 Session 3 ROOM A Submitted Panel: Durkheimian Sociology In Philosophical Context Warren Schmaus, Chair Robert Alun Jones, University of Illinois, Urbana L'Ecole Des Choses: Durkheim, Realism, And Rousseau John I. Brooks III, Tikyo Loretto Heights University Great Books And Not-So-Great Books: Durkheim's Rules Of Sociological Method And High-School Philosophy In France Warren Schmaus, Illinois Institute of Technology The Positivist Roots Of The Sociology Of Knowledge Terry F. Godlove, Jr., Hofstra University Durkheim, Hamelin, And The Kantian Background ROOM B Submitted Panel: Renaissance Theory Of Science: Quia And Propter Quid, Analysis And Synthesis Eric Palmer, Allegheny College, Chair Donald Morrison, Rice University Analysis As A Philosophical Method In Middle And Neoplatonism John H. Serembus, Widener University The Method Of Resolution And Composition Of Robert Grosseteste Peter Barker, University of Oklahoma Demonstration Quia And Propter Quid In The Lutheran Response To Copernicus Roger Ariew, Virginia Tech. Descartes And The Late Scholastics On The Order Of The Sciences Afternoon break 4:30 Keynote address Michael Friedman, Indiana University 8:00-10:00 Conference Reception Saturday, April 20 8:30-10:30 Session 4 ROOM A David Kaiser, Harvard University "A Mannheim For All Seasons: Bloor, Merton, And The Roots Of SSK" Elihu M. Gerson, Tremont Research Institute Methodological Debate In 20th Century American Philosophy: An Institutional Perspective Cassandra L. Pinnick, Western Kentucky University What's Wrong With The Strong Programme's Case Study Of The "Hobbes-Boyle Dispute"? ROOM B Barry S. Gower, University of Durham Conventionalism, Probabilistic Reasoning And Scientific Method David Stump, University of San Francisco Reconstructing The Unity Of Mathematics circa 1900 Madeline Muntersbjorn, University of Toledo On The Representation Neutrality Of Mathematical Reasoning: A Critical History Of A Philosophical Thesis Morning break 11:00-1:00 Session 5 ROOM A Anne Mylott, Indiana University Matthias Schleiden And Philosophy Of Biology In J.F. Fries Chuck Ward, Johns Hopkins University J.H. Woodger's `Theory Of The Organism' Gregory Nowak, Princeton University J.H. Woodger's Axiomatic Biology: The Creation Of A Positivist Science ROOM B Maurice A. Finocchiaro, University of Nevada Las Vegas The 'Port-Royal Logic': Informal Logic, Methodological Reflection, Etc. Saul Fisher, City University of New York Gassendi's 'Modern' Concept Of Probability And The Nature Of Nondeductive Inference Alan Gabbey, Barnard College Exercises In Near-Impossibility: Reflections On Translating Scientific And Philosophical Texts Of The Past 1:00-2:00 Lunch 2:00 Keynote address: Ron Giere, University of Minnesota Afternoon break 4:00 Transportation to conference banquet Saturday evening, hosted by Joseph C. and Donna Pitt at Gavagai Hollow. A $20 banquet fee above registration fee is required for this event. Sunday, April 21 8:30-10:30 Session 6 ROOM A Chair: George Gale Andrew Reynolds, University of Western Ontario Peirce on Physical Laws and Evolution Don Howard, University of Kentucky "And I Shall Not Mingle Conjectures With Certainties": On The Intellectual Background To Einstein's Distinction Between Principle Theories And Constructive Theories Arto Siitonen, University of Helsinki Hans Reichenbach's Position In 20th Century Philosophy ROOM B Submitted Panel: Interactions Between Mechanistic Physics And Jesuit Aristotelian Philosophy In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries Helen Hattab, Chair Helen Hattab, University of Pennsylvania One Cause Or Many?: What Jesuit Philosophy Can Tell Us About Descartes Marcus Hellyer, University of California, San Diego The Jesuit Reception Of Descartes In Seventeenth And Eighteenth Century Germany Cees Leijenhorst, University of Utrecht Jesuit Scholasticism And Hobbes's Natural Philosophy: Three Case Studies Morning break 11:00-1:00 Session 7 ROOM A George Reisch, Northwestern University Epistemologist, Sociologist...And Censor?--On Otto Neurath's Index Verborum Prohibitorum Gary L. Hardcastle, Virginia Tech. The Science Of Science Discussion Group At Harvard, 1940-41 Chris McClellan, Notre Dame A Modern History Of Empirical Rationalism: From The Encyclopedia Of 1751 To The Encyclopedia Of Unified Science ROOM B Lisa Downing, University of Pennsylvania Locke On Corpuscularianism: Its Status, Uniqueness, Limitations, And Implications David K. Nartonis, Unaffiliated Voluntarism And Empiricism S. Paul Tidman, University of Delaware Reid on Scientific Method _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:21>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Wed Feb 21 21:39:44 1996 Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 22:36:17 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: "skiamorph" To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro This entertaining popular essay from a Toronto newspaper was recently posted on HUMANIST. It describes a phenomenon that will be familiar to all historical scientists I'm sure: the existence of features that once served some purpose or were adaptive, but no longer are, and persist by virtue of inheritance (cultural inheritance in the examples given in the essay). Such features are common in just about all objects with complex histories: organisms, languages, cultural artifacts, etc. The term the author of the essay uses for them is "skiamorph". Can we (pedantic scholars that we are) develop this concept in a rigorous way? Or perhaps someone already has? Are there special terms that correspond to "skiamorph" in particular disciplines within the historical sciences? Bob O'Hara (email@example.com) --begin forwarded message-------------- Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996 17:30:58 -0500 (EST) From: Humanist <mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU> Subject: 9.553 techno-skiamorphology To: Humanist Discussion Group <humanist@lists.Princeton.EDU> Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 553. Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers) Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/  From: Willard McCarty <firstname.lastname@example.org> (45) Subject: techno-skiamorphology [The following from a Toronto paper, Science and Technology page. I was particularly delighted to find this piece, since I have been writing and thinking about the phenomenon for some time and did not know there was a word for it. Atkinson's editor pointed out to me that "anachronism" does not cover the same territory. A letter in today's Globe further pointed out that Atkinson has it wrong about the return key on the computer keyboard, since it describes the motion of the cursor on screen. Nevertheless, we are still haunted by skiamorphs. --WM] One person's Rolodex is another person's electronic skiamorph Bill Atkinson Mind and Matter, The Globe and Mail, D8, Saturday, 10 February 1996. Reproduced by permission of the author & with the knowledge of the publisher. ------------------------------------------------------------------ I'VE never met a fact I couldn't use. A datum will lurk in my cranium until another fact, more recently acquired, ferries it back to consciousness. Case in point. Last month I was talking to an editor at The Globe and Mail when my eye fell on her Rolodex. Two things about this name-filing device struck me. First, it was no longer based on file cards but on microchip electronics. Second, the new version needlessly featured the hand-turned cylinder that characterized the old form. "You have a skiamorph," I said. Skiamorph: There's a winning combination for a Scrabble game. I got the word, and the concept behind it, from a book on materials science that I long ago mislaid. "Skiamorph" comes from the Greek for "shadow" (skia) and "form" (morphe). My long-lost book coined it for the unnecessary holdovers that show up when new technologies displace existing ones. The book cited two examples. First: Two thousand years ago, when the material of choice for Grecian temples shifted from wood to stone, masons continued to reproduce -- in stone -- architectural details that made sense only in wood-framed structures. Today's tourist may spot the square heads of what look like wooden pegs and wedges, protruding from the tops of solid marble columns. Second: the countless highway bridges with mock guardhouses at both ends. This stems from the times when streams were territorial borders, and bridges over them housed soldiers and customs officials. Sometimes guardhouses on modern viaducts are only bumps, mere suggestions of structure. At other times, the architect gives us something out of 11th-century Burgundy, down to the arrow slits and crenelations. Since rediscovering the skiamorph, I have cast about for other examples. To deserve its name, a skiamorph must not be an operable way of doing things. Using a fountain pen instead of more up-to- date writing tools, for instance, is not a skiamorph. By definition, the true skiamorph is exuberantly useless. Take the item that triggered my memory. The cylindrical silhouette of the original Rolodex was famous: Countless yuppies linked its knurled knobs with wealth and power. When new technology created more convenient and capacious systems, Rolodex designers responded with a skiamorph. The electronic model they invented still uses a cylinder to scroll through names. Yet that is not an engineering requirement: it is a marketing decision. Ergonomically, a rocker switch would be better, but that As the Romans used to say, Cui bono? Who benefits from these silly things? I suppose I do. Subconsciously, I probably respond to both skiamorphs because they pitch to deeply buried myths of the ace reporter. Tackatackading! Rrrrrrrrrip! Get me Rewrite, honey! Skiamorphs are born of human insecurity -- a truth that Marketing remembers even when Engineering is enraged by it. Whenever a new technology emerges, even when its operation is safe and useful, its nature and long-term effects remain mysterious to all but a handful of inventor-acolytes. And since we usually fear the unknown, the vast majority of users are reassured if the new ways of doing things share some of the trappings of the old. Snobbery may also foster skiamorphs after all fashion is full of them. Long after an initial solution loses its function, it survives as ornament. The holes on brogue shoes once drained water. The wings of wing chairs once deflected drafts long banished from today's firesides and bedrooms. Excellent new materials such as aluminum, prefinished steel and self-adhesive vinyl are too self-conscious to appear in their own guise, and come tarted up with fake wood grain. Shades of the Greeks. In fact, anything laden with emotion is an excellent medium for growing skiamorphs. Take housing. In Elizabethan England, the windows of the rich were labour-intensive and costly to build. To make them, pieces of handblown glass were painstakingly knit together with lead strips. These leaded panes, early examples of conspicuous consumption, became identified with the gentry, and were thus preserved even when new technology permitted large pieces of distortion-free window glass to be cast on beds of mercury. Float glass gave us picture windows, but it could not speak to people's emotion-laden images of upscale housing. Hence the skiamorph of modern leaded glass-a web of expanded metal glued to a seamless pane of float glass. Or consider the S-shaped Landau mark, visible in chrome on the roofs of some American autos. A century ago it was a hinge that let the fabric tops of horse-drawn carriages fold back on themselves easily. Yesterday's hinge is today's skiamorph, thanks Skiamorphs form a fascinating back door to the history of technology. Like architecture, they are essays penned in material, able to edify the humanist as much as the scientist. Spotting them, especially in their subtler forms, sharpens the eye and delights the mind. I look forward to readers' further skiamorphic examples. Bill Atkinson reports on science, technology, and the economic and social effects of both. He lives in North Vancouver. He can be reached at email@example.com --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:22>From Eliana@attach.edu.ar Wed Feb 21 18:28:57 1996 From: Eliana@attach.edu.ar Organization: Attachment Research Center To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 21:10:56 -0300 Subject: Popper conference ANNUAL POPPER CONFERENCE 9th March, 1996 Room A42 London School of Economics and Political Science Houghton Street, WC2A 2AE (Just off the Aldwych) Organiser: Dr. Ray Scott Percival Chairman: Dr. Jan Clifford Lester Sponsors: L.S.E, Lancaster University, Mr. & Mrs. Mew, Open Society Institute (Chairman: Mr. Soros), Securicor. ------------------------------------------------------------- 10.30 am: Registration & Coffee (A42, just down the corridor to the right of the Old Theatre) 11.00 am: Dr. Michel Ghins (Wolfson College, Oxford) _Popper on Time_ Noon: Dr. Barry McMullin (Dublin City University) _Adaptation Considered Harmful: Darwin's Problem Revisited_ 1.00 pm: Lunch 2.30 pm: Dr. Christoph Von Mettenheim (Barrister, German Federal Supreme Court) _Einstein, Popper and the Theory of Relativity_ 3.30 pm: Sandra Pralong (Democracy Works, New York) _The Role of the Media in the Open Society_ 4.30 pm: Break (A86; next to A42) 5.00 pm: (To be decided.) 6.00 pm: Close. ------------------------------------------------------------- The Conference is open to all interested people. There is a registration fee of STG 10 for the unemployed (STG 5 for Students and Unemployed). Participants will need to make their own arrangements for lunch. Many restaurants can be found along the Strand and at Covent Garden, only 5 minutes away. If you wish to reserve a seat, please send cheque plus stamped addressed envelope to the Organiser: Dr. Ray Scott Percival, 70 Hillview Court, Astley Bridge, Bolton BL1 8NU United Kingdom. Phone: +44-1204-593114 E-mail: email@example.com Otherwise, you may pay at the door. ------------------------------------------------------------- ******************************************************** * Eliana Montuori, MD * Juncal 1966 * * Attachment Research Center * 1116, Buenos Aires * * Tel: +54-1 812 5521 Fax: +54-1 812 5432 * ******************************************************** _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:23>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Feb 22 10:05:40 1996 Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 11:00:02 -0500 From: email@example.com (Gordon Burghardt) Subject: Re: skiamorph To: firstname.lastname@example.org Bob O'Hara wrote: >This entertaining popular essay from a Toronto newspaper was recently posted >on HUMANIST. It describes a phenomenon that will be familiar to all >historical scientists I'm sure: the existence of features that once served >some purpose or were adaptive, but no longer are, and persist by virtue of >inheritance (cultural inheritance in the examples given in the essay). Such >features are common in just about all objects with complex histories: >organisms, languages, cultural artifacts, etc. The term the author of the >essay uses for them is "skiamorph". > >Can we (pedantic scholars that we are) develop this concept in a rigorous >way? Or perhaps someone already has? Are there special terms that >correspond to "skiamorph" in particular disciplines within the historical >sciences? Ah - the short historical life of important findings and those from other countries. There is a major effort looking at the cutural evolution of all kinds of human creations pioneered in Austria by Otto Koenig. Koenig founded a major center for ethological research in Vienna that is now part of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (and renamed after Konrad Lorenz). Koenig look at clothes, uniforms, streetcars, etc and found nonfunctonal remnants of all kind that could be traced to earlier cultural adaptations. His work figured prominently in Lorenz's 1973 Nobel Prize speech published in SCIENCE; he also popularized it in other writings. Koenig wrote several books, an important one is Kultur and Verhaltensforschung. Einfuerung in die Kulturethologie, Munich, 1970. Eibl-Eibesfeldt cited Koenig's work in his textbooks on Ethology and also his opus Human Etholgy (de Gruyter, New York, 1989). His work has been taken up by many others in Europe. A posthumous volume, edited by Max Liedtke, dedicated to Koenig and with many fascinating subjects appeared in 1994 (Kulturethologie, Realis Verlag, Munich). Many of the reported studies are quantitative and theoretical. I particularly liked the reports on liturical costumes, which can be traced back for centuries. I highly recommend these works to Darwin-L. Gordon M. Burghardt Department of Psychology University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN 37996-0900 phone: 423-974-3300 fax: 423-974-3330 e-mail: email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:24>From CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu Thu Feb 22 20:59:35 1996 Date: Thu, 22 Feb 96 20:59 CDT From: CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu Subject: Re: "skiamorph" To: firstname.lastname@example.org Bob, memory's vague here, but I believe that J.C. Smith (Dept of Linguistics, University of Manchester) presented a paper last summer at the 12th International Conference on Historical Linguistics in which he introduced (to Linguistics) and developed the notion of skiamorph, in connection with exaptation. Not a new finding, but skiamorph is a more descriptive (and more pleasant) label than, say, junk. Tom Cravens ------------------------------------------------------------- Dept of French and Italian email@example.com 618 Van Hise Hall phone: 608-262-6522 University of Wisconsin-Madison fax: 608-265-3892 Madison, WI 53706 _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:25>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Feb 22 23:22:36 1996 Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 21:21:18 -0800 From: email@example.com (Anton Sherwood) To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU Subject: skiamorphs A typographic skiamorph: the thread linking the tops of `ct' and `st' in some fonts. I suppose it represents a handwritten feature, but ask myself why the pen would be there... Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\* DASher@netcom.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:26>From maisel@SDSC.EDU Fri Feb 23 04:58:58 1996 Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 00:46:04 -0800 (PST) From: Merry Maisel <maisel@SDSC.EDU> Subject: Re: skiamorphs To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU Anton Sherwood asks why st and ct are linked by a "thread" in older typography. The "thread" and other swashes (fancy capital letters with flourishes) derive from the Chancery Italic hand, invented by the head scribe in the Pope's Chancery in the sixteenth century, one Ludovico degli Arrighi, I b'lieve--a method of formal writing that was much swifter than the Gothic script. The attempt made throughout the history of type to reproduce swashes and flourishes no doubt reflects upon the once-powerful and awe-inspiring character of anything in writing, especially Papal proclamations. My Macintosh harbors such a font, and the fancier typesetting computer programs permit a wide range of what were once hand operations in the foundry: kerning, for example, which is being able to write two characters, e.g., "AW," even with very wedge-shaped letters, and yet put them close together, so the W is in the space that would be occupied by the supporting block of the A. In the type foundry, a person has to chisel out the two blocks so the two letters can be put closer together. In the computer, the unoccupied pixels can be assorted ad lib. Modern graphic practice includes the swashy stuff in the eclectic bin, and clever designers will use such fonts to give words an authority they might not otherwise have. Merry Maisel email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:27>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Feb 23 08:59:52 1996 Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 09:59:44 -0500 To: email@example.com From: Willard McCarty <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: skiamorphs The ligature from c to t, s to t, and several others -- why? Normally, one would begin those letters at or near the top: in the case of minuscule c or s, depending on the style and type of writing, sometimes with a reverse stroke beginning at the top right, proceeding counter-clockwise, sometimes clockwise, beginning at the left with the top stroke. For a majuscule, most often one would begin for C or S as in the latter procedure for producing the minuscule. (This is so easy to demonstrate, so difficult to describe!) So, again the question, what would the pen be doing up there after the minuscule had already been produced? For the joy of it, in order to flourish the letter, produce a most beautiful digraph (if it can be called that), etc. Writing by hand was a trade, of course, but it was also the occasion for the craftsman's joy in life, sensuous pleasure in the production of something beautiful. Evidence for this bacchic view of handwriting? Modern experience, my own and that of many others (see Edward Johnston's bppk, the title of which escapes me). Then there's the occamic razor: how else to explain what one finds more simply? Are these typographic skiamorphs? When do we say that something no longer has a function? Do we include as function the producing of pleasure, a certain impression of, say, a bygone era? WM Willard McCarty / Centre for Computing in the Humanities Faculty of Arts & Science, University of Toronto email@example.com / (416) 978-3974 _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:28>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon Feb 26 13:31:36 1996 Date: Mon, 26 Feb 1996 14:32:31 -0500 To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (Darwin List) From: email@example.com (Jeremy C. Ahouse) Subject: Harvard evolution home page Hi DarwinL, and now for some shameless self-promotion. You may enjoy visiting the course home pages for the Harvard evolution course. http://icg.harvard.edu/~bio17/ cheers, - Jeremy p.s. I am interested in feedback on the readings, and in any thoughts on using centralized and changing(!) pages as a way of disseminating information to members of a class. Have any of you had particular luck or problems with this approach? The Berkeley course has done a nice job putting their discussions with authors of evolution papers on their pages. The biggest problem I see is that unless the page authors take real care to mark new links there is no real way to know what has changed. _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:29>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon Feb 26 15:25:11 1996 Date: Mon, 26 Feb 1996 15:16:58 -0600 To: email@example.com From: "Margaret E. Winters" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: "skiamorph" J.C. Smith did indeed give a paper at the Historical Linguistics conference in Manchester last summer developing the notion of skiamorph (what is the etymology???). Nigel Vincent (also at Manchester) has been looking at exaptation, or the rededication of morphological "stuff" which has lost meaning over time, for a while in various publications (a paper he gave at the 1992 Morphologietagung in Krems, Austria, for example), all of it in response to Roger Lass's paper (in the Journal of Linguistics) on linguistic "junk" - or linguistic form that has no function. Naturally I do not have the references with me, but can find some of them if anyone is interested. Best, Margaret Winters ----------------------- Dr. Margaret E. Winters Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Budget and Personnel) Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Carbondale, IL 62901 tel: (618) 536-5535 fax: (618) 453-3340 e-mail: email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <30:30>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Feb 29 15:45:38 1996 Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 16:45:17 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: February 29 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro FEBRUARY 29 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1808: HUGH FALCONER is born at Forres, Scotland. Following medical study at Edinburgh, Falconer will take the position of director of the botanical gardens at Saharanpur, India, near the Siwalik Hills. For ten years he will make extensive botanical and paleontological investigations of the Siwalik region, and his fossil discoveries will win for him the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society of London. In 1842 he will return to England to arrange the Indian fossil collections in the British Museum, but he will again remove to India in 1848 to become professor of botany at the Calcutta Medical College. Falconer's final years will be spent in London, and he will rise to the position of vice-president of the Royal Society shortly before his death in 1865. Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to email@example.com or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ Darwin-L Message Log 30: 1-30 -- February 1996 End
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